Posted on May 14, 2023 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of May 14, 2023.

L. Frank Baum (May 15, 1856): Baum wrote over sixty books under a variety of names, but of course is best known for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the thirteen follow-up books to it.

Katherine Anne Porter (May 15, 1890): Porter had long been a critically acclaimed (though financially struggling) short-story writer, for works such as the O. Henry Award-winning “Holiday,” but the publication of her one and only novel, Ship of Fools, was what earned her a wider readership.

Adrienne Rich (May 16, 1929): Rich, best known for her feminist and lesbian poetry, turned down the National Medal of the Arts in 1997 in opposition to the Clinton administration’s politics.

Gary Paulsen (May 17, 1939): Paulsen wrote over a hundred books for adults and young readers, among them three Newberry Honor titles: Dogsong, Hatchet, and The Winter Room.

Ian Fleming (May 18, 1908): Fleming gained fame among adults for his James Bond novels (and the movies they inspired) but also among children for his book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (also adapted for the big screen).

Lorraine Hansberry (May 19, 1930): Hansberry’s canonical play A Raisin in the Sun received the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, while its film adaptation received a special award at the Cannes festival.

Nora Ephron (May 19, 1941): Ephron’s incredibly successful screenwriting career (When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and You’ve Got Mail) was bookended by periods of essay-writing, including the bestseller I Feel Bad About My Neck.

Honoré de Balzac (May 20, 1799): Balzac, most famous for La Comédie humaine (The Human Comedy), helped establish the traditional form of the novel and also is considered the creator of realism in the novel.

Categories: Today in Books

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